Vatican City (BLAZETRENDS)
“The terms of this mission and its modality are currently under study,” explained the Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
The cardinal, archbishop of Bologna (north) and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, has been commissioned by the pontiff to “lead a mission, in agreement with the Secretary of State, to help reduce tensions in the conflict in Ukraine.”
“In the hope, never abandoned by the Holy Father, that it can start peace processes,” the statement ends.
This would be the secret mission that Pope Francis referred to on his return from his trip to Hungary and about which until this Saturday afternoon the Vatican has maintained maximum silence.
In recent days, some media had advanced that Francis intended to send emissaries to Kiev and Moscow in an attempt to mediate to stop the war in Ukraine, although this “double” strategy has not been confirmed and has only designated Zuppi.
The media had pointed to Zuppi as the emissary addressed to kyiv and to Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, a great connoisseur of these two countries and prefect of the Dicastery for Oriental Churches, as the interlocutor with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, Gugerotti denied that information days ago.
Zuppi mediated in 1990 with the Community of Sant’Egidio in the civil war in Mozambique and was also in 2017 at the act of handing over the weapons of the Basque terrorist group ETA in the French town of Bayonne (south).
Francis has called on numerous occasions for the start of a dialogue to end the war in Ukraine, caused by the invasion of Russia in February 2020.
On May 13, in fact, he openly acknowledged that the neutrality of the Holy See allows him to “better contribute to conflict resolution” in an audience with new diplomats in the Vatican.
Received Zelensky at the Vatican
Precisely that same day, he received the President of Ukraine, Volodomir Zelensky, at the Vatican.
In the 40-minute meeting, both agreed on “the need to continue humanitarian efforts in support of the population,” according to the brief information provided by the Holy See.
In this sense, the pontiff stressed “the urgent need for gestures of humanity towards the most fragile people, innocent victims of the conflict.”
Shortly after, Zelensky posted a much harsher message on his Twitter in which, after thanking the pope for his attention to “the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians,” he asked him to “condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine.”
“Because,” he said, “there can be no equality between the victim and the aggressor,” reproached the Ukrainian president.
And he discarded any other peace plan that is not that of his country: “I have also spoken about our Peace Formula as the only effective algorithm to achieve a just peace. I have proposed joining your implementation,” he wrote.